Moldovan startup HiSky has announced a commencement date of July 1 for all of its new flights. The reason why the Chișinău International Airport (KIV)-based carrier has delayed operations is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On its website, HiSky issued a statement, which read the following:
“The Moldovan authorities decided to extend the period of prohibition to operate regular passenger flights to/from the Republic of Moldova, until June 30. HiSky complies with the decision and announces the impossibility to operate the planned flights until this date. Therefore, the flights will be launched starting with July 1.”
HiSky went on to add that passengers who had purchased tickets could rebook for another date or ask for a refund. If passengers decide to reschedule, they will pay no additional fees. Any passenger who bought a HiSky flight ticket from a travel agency is asked to contact the agency to rebook or ask for a refund.
Who is HiSky?
While new to the aviation marketplace, HiSky has, according to its website, an impressive team of executives led by former Air Moldova pilot Iulian Scorpan. Working in partnership with Brasov-based Romanian charter airline Cobrex Trans, HiSky plans to fly from the Moldovan capital to several destinations in Western Europe.
All flights will be operated using 180-seat Airbus A320s that HiSky says it will get from Cobrex. The flights from Chișinău International Airport (KIV) will be to the following destinations:
Most low-cost carriers add to revenue by charging for food and beverages. However, HiSky says that all drinks and snacks on its flights will be complimentary.
The airline will also allow passengers to bring a carry-on of up to eight kilos with dimensions not more than 40x30x20cm. It will also operate four classes of service basic, classic, premium, and premium plus. HiSky says that no matter which class you select, you can expect a high standard of service.
Not too many people will have heard of Moldova, a tiny landlocked country of just over 3.5 million people wedged between Romania and Ukraine. Once dubbed the world’s unhappiest country, it is better known today for its unspoiled countryside and world-class wineries.
As more and more people hear about leafy Chişinău and its post-Soviet embrace of democracy, companies like HiSky will appeal to tourists looking for an affordable holiday or mini-break.
Will the HiSky business model work?
First of all, we must say the idea of a new airline flying to and from Moldova was born before the coronavirus came about. The way the airline industry will manage in the aftermath is yet to be seen. In HiSky’s model, it is interesting that they want to fly to Western European cities rather than to places closer to home.
In the past, most of the people visiting Moldova have come from Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. For a startup like HiSky, you might have thought that seasonal holiday destinations would be a better option.
It would appear, however, that HiSky is looking to appeal to Moldovans working abroad and people looking to do business or vacation in Moldova. Hungarian based Wizz Air lists Chişinău as one of its focus cities, so there are opportunities to be had.
So far as we know, HiSky has not yet received its license for commercial operations from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Moldova. On top of this, from what information we can gather from aviation website Planespotters.net HiSky’s Romanian partner Cobrex has just one old Boeing 737-300.
Simple Flying will reach out to HiSky for comment. Nonetheless, with tickets for sale on its website, it looks like HiSky still plans to start flying in July.
What are your thoughts on HiSky’s launch? Will you fly with this airline when it starts operating? Let us know what you think in the comment section.